Netizens recently noticed that since July, the Zhejiang Provincial Government Services website has been publicly posting “resolutions on administrative punishment” for individuals and organizations charged with “setting up or utilizing illegal channels for international networking without authorization”—i.e., circumventing the Great Firewall. This public list demonstrates that a large number of netizens have already been reprimanded by the police, fined, or had their internet cut as punishment for “scaling the wall” to visit foreign websites.
The editors at CDT Chinese note that each order for administrative punishment mentions the specific tool used to scale the wall—such as Shadowsocks, Shadowrocket (SSN), Linkfox VPN, or Wang VPN—but doesn’t explain how the police found this information. The “airport hosts” (机场主, Chinese internet term used to mean internet service providers) are also mentioned, and indication is made that certain businesses have also been punished.
Three representative cases are briefly summarized below:
The “crime,” or “pocket crime,” of “scaling the wall” falls under articles six and 14 of the “Implementation Rules for Provisional Regulations of the Administration of International Networking of Computer Information in the People’s Republic of China” (effective 1998), which define “circumvention of the firewall” to access the global internet as an “illegal” activity that provides the “basis” for Public Security to mete out punishment:
Article 6. Direct access to international networking of computer information must utilize the international access channels provided by the National Public Telecommunication Network of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications. No work unit or individual may establish or utilize other channels for international networking.
Article 14. Those in violation of the provisions of Article 6, Article 8, or Article 10 of these regulations will receive a warning and have their network connection suspended by order of Public Security, and may be fined up to 15,000 yuan [USD 2224 in 2020 dollars]; illegal income will be confiscated. [Chinese]
Read this original post at CDT Chinese.